missing what is gone
Maybe it is just that I lived for so many years with Tom, but I’m finding being on my own (so to speak) to be unfamiliar and even scary territory. I had a bout of pretty bad vertigo awhile back and there’s nothing like being incapacitated to make you realize just how vulnerable you are. For the first time in years I was on my own. There was no Tom to help me or even to offer sympathy and hold my hand. I can only imagine how frightening this would be if I were older and physically frail. As it is, I think, ” who will I call if someone weird is following me around in the grocery store and I’m afraid to go out to my car?” ( this happened once and Tom drove over and picked me up!) For that matter, there’s no one to nudge awake at night if I have a nightmare or I think someone’s in the house. I don’t have a real confidant anymore – there are things I would only share with him and now they just rattle around in my brain with no place to go. I used to think lonely meant I didn’t have someone to do things with, or someone to talk with. But I have those things and there is still this profound loneliness when I come up against places in my life where I’m reminded again of this missing relationship. I’m simultaneously so grateful to have had such a thing and also so disappointed that it’s gone.
Another thing that I’m realizing is how my life was enriched just by living with Tom. He shared things with me that I never even thought about until he brought them to my attention. He loved musicals and we went to a number of performances over the course of our marriage. It was a whole part of life I didn’t really know much about before. Tom took me camping and driving all over southern Utah. We had amazing adventures that I would never have thought to do on my own. Tom introduced me to the cello (he played in high school) and shared that love with Spencer – something I don’t know I would have thought to suggest to my child when he was considering learning a musical instrument. He shared his love of Rush (along with his extensive collection of albums) and now every time one of their songs comes on the radio I feel like it is a little wave from Tom, reminding me that he is still watching out for us. Left to my own devices I’m pretty happy to just read a good book and stay home where I’m comfortable. How lucky I was to marry someone who took me places (metaphorically speaking) that I wouldn’t have gone on my own.
I’m trying to look at the future as an opportunity to stretch myself – find some new passions, try some new things, look for opportunities to do things I couldn’t before. But honestly this is still pretty hard to do. Many days I get to eight o’clock and think, “I got through another day – yay me!” and about the only things I did were the essentials. I’m trying to be hopeful – that one day here I’m going to feel excited about something and it will be good. But right now the part that mourns what I’ve lost is still a lot bigger than than the part that hopes.